The Qatari Ministry of Culture’s Seminar Series 2023 continued on Sunday at Qatar University, where Quranic Studies professors Dr Abdulrahman Hallali and Dr Joseph Lombard spoke about Islam and modernity.
According to Dr Hallali, Islam has never been in conflict with modernity, except in cases where it may undermine religion. Many Muslim philosophers and thinkers have constantly addressed modernity, and there are many aspects of modernity present in both the Western and Islamic worlds to varying degrees.
“Modernity, from the perspective of theorists, is to create your own modernity without affecting the modernity of others. But this modernity should not be used in the wrong place, whether in experience or in theoretical vision,” he said.
Dr Lombard emphasized that there is a need to focus on making our reality in harmony with our culture and Islamic religion. Modernity is different in the West from Islam, as it has become related to science. However, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was sent as a mercy to the world. Therefore, our officials as Muslims should deliver mercy and make it closely related to modernity and present an Islamic model to the world.
“There is a need to invest resources in our Islamic world for the benefit of advancement by applying the teachings of Islam for the benefit of humanity. Abu Hamid al-Ghazali realized the incoherence of philosophers who were governed by a liberal human model. But the spirit of religion means looking at our responsibility and at the same time to build the future,” he said.
The speakers agreed that there are obstacles in acquiring the necessary knowledge regarding modernity and postmodernity, and that the context in the perspective of the West is not the modernity that people in the Arab world are talking about, and therefore should be defined properly.
The session was moderated by journalist Iman al-Kaabi, director of the Qatar Media Centre, the Ministry of Culture.
In conclusion, the speakers emphasized the need for a proper understanding of modernity and its relationship with Islam. They encouraged officials to invest resources in the Islamic world for the benefit of humanity and build a future that is in harmony with our culture and Islamic religion.